Former Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe kept bringing up former President Trump’s name in his previous two debates for the gubernatorial race this month against Glenn Youngkin, the Republican bet.
However, as McAuliffe kept trying to link his opponent with Trump in a star where the former president was defeated with a 10-point margin, he didn’t say President Joe Biden’s name at all in both showdowns.
Biden won in Virginia in 2020, but the tanking of his approval ratings in the last two months, along with the White House’s and Congress Democrats’ incapability to agree regarding their agendas on spending and climate change, have become important factors in a gubernatorial race that would have a large impact on the nation. This also comes just five weeks before the election day.
Biden’s tanking ratings came after his questionable handling of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. It also comes following summer’s surge in COVID-19 cases and the onslaught of the Delta Variant. To make matters worse, a nosedive in Biden’s ratings also comes along the latest instance of the migrant surge in a border city in Texas, with thousands of migrants trying to get into the U.S. via the country’s border with Mexico.
Additionally, the conflict between progressives and moderate Dems within the party in Congres has also contributed to this.
During the debate that happened on Tuesday, McAuliffe seems to have distanced himself from the national party that he’s a part of. He was asked whether he supports the spending bill worth $3.5 million that the Democrats in the White House and Congress are proposing. To this, the former Virginia governor said he believes the figure was “too high.”
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Nevertheless, he asked Congress to pass the other $1 trillion infrastructure bill that was more bipartisan.
Currently, McAuliffe is said to hold a 5-point advantage over his opponent among registered Virginia voters. This is according to a survey conducted by Monmouth University from Sept. 22-26. Meanwhile, he’s up by 7 points among possible voters according to a Roanoke survey conducted within Sept. 12-26.
The average taken from the most recent polls gathered by Real Clear Politics, however, projects McAuliffe to have only a 3-point advantage over Youngkin.